Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Writing Dog

People frequently ask, "How do you write so much?" The answer is usually that I don't watch television, which is technically true. I do occasionally (okay, rarely) watch old McGuyver reruns on Netflix. I cancelled my Direct TV because the programs made no sense to me and the commercials are maddening. The inability to use my remote was only a very small part of rejecting subscription programming, no matter what anyone else says. 

The empty nest, of course, likely has more to do with all my writing time than the television boycott. With no one to tend but the animals, the demands on my time are not as great as when I was running a taxi service and attending some sort of livestock show every weekend. As county fairs start gearing up, I miss hauling cows/goats/horses to the fairgrounds in all the nearby counties for summer shows. Ahh. Those were the days!  

But I digress. One of the reasons I'm able to write so much is that I have a writing chair and a writing dog. There is a big green chair and ottoman in my great room where I always sit to write. Because it's the writing chair, my mind begins to focus on writing as soon as I head toward it. 

Another great help is my writing dog. She doesn't actually write, of course, but she sits in my lap while I write. Maggie the Wonder Dog has the enviable ability to get very still and to listen when I read aloud. Mamie, on the other hand, is not a writing dog. She runs in circles non-stop, constantly hops, and jumps out of the chair almost as soon as she gets into my lap. She is very cheerful and has great enthusiasm, but no focus. 

Mamie is always fun to have around (unless you are trying to write).  A lot of us are like Mamie, aren't we? Full of energy, we run in so many directions that we don't get near as much done as we'd hope, nor do we complete all the tasks we start. It's like we are always muddling around. 

I think I'd rather be a Maggie. She can focus, she can be still, and she can carry a task through to the bitter end (especially if it involves chasing chickens). I'd like to be more like her, wouldn't you? I'm not going to chase the poultry, but finishing what I start would be a great improvement, as would continuing to  work on something until I'm completely done. 

Maybe the key is to pay attention from the beginning, as well as start small and build up. After all, "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much." (Luke 16:10 NASB)

Are you a Maggie or a Mamie? How much are you accomplishing? Maybe what you need to do is to focus, get still, and get started.